The first mention of any settlers in the area that became Flat Rock was made by a French Priest named Father Jean Dilhet. In describing his parish in 1798 he included "Grosse Roche", referring to a settlement named after the outcropping of limestone rock on the south side of the Huron River.
In 1818, a land office opened in Detroit and Soloman Sibley purchased 330.93 acres of land. In 1824 it was sold to Michael and Jacob Vreeland. The Villages of Vreelandt and Smooth Rock were platted on part of this acerage. In 1824 there were Huron, Seneca, and Wyandot Indian villages in the area.
With the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, large numbers of people, especially from New York, came to Michigan to settle. By 1828 the village had four stores, two saw mills, a wool carding mill, a flour mill, and 250 inhabitants - serving as a center for farmers who lived in the area immediately surrounding the settlement.
The Village of Flat Rock was platted and recorded in 1838 by the Gibraltar and Flat Rock Land Co.
An attempt was made to build a canal to connect Lake Erie with Lake Michigan. This effort ultimately failed.
Henry Ford was attracted to the water power of the Huron River and in 1925 he established the Ford Motor Company headlight plant along its banks. In 2008, the plant was awarded a State Historical Marker visible from Huron River Drive.
The area was incorporated as a village in 1923 and as a city in 1965. The City of Flat Rock today contains 6.68 square miles and the population in 2006 was 10,000. While Flat Rock is a rapidly growing community today, even with its growth, it remains a unique "small town" with many of it's residents having roots reaching back to the 1800's.
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Roll Over Image Above to see W.S. Morey Co. Store ruins after fire in 1912.
Flat Rock School grades 1 thru 12, built 1867, destroyed by fire 1910
Flat Rock and Brownstown Township Obituaries (a partial collection).Choose Flat Rock Public Library and then Bobcean Funeral Home Obituaries.